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EYE ON POTATOES; Development of instant mashed potatoes receives recognition

Development of instant mashed potatoes


March 13, 2008
By Marg Land


Topics

Research that led to the
development of instant mashed potatoes by scientists with the U.S.
Department of Agriculture in Wyndmoor, Pa., has been designated as a
National Historic Chemical Landmark.

Research that led to the development of instant mashed potatoes by scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Wyndmoor, Pa., has been designated as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, sponsors the Landmarks program.

The USDA’s innovations in dehydration processes made possible convenience foods such as instant mashed potatoes and crispy potato snacks, products familiar to consumers worldwide. These achievements in food chemistry improved the overall value of the North American potato crop and expanded the utilization of numerous other agricultural commodities.

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Research on dehydration technology in the 1950s led to the introduction of potato flakes. Because of their long shelf life, the flakes are used by the U.S. military for food rations and are a key component of international food aid programs. Millions of pounds of potato flakes are purchased in North America for use in school lunch programs and other domestic child nutrition and food assistance projects.

“I am pleased that the American Chemical Society has recognized our
earlier work developing food dehydration technologies with their prestigious Historic Landmark Award,” the USDA’s Dr. John Cherry said. “This is a proud moment for those who completed these projects and for us following in their footsteps.”

For more on the National Historic Chemical Landmarks program, please visit http://center.acs.org/landmarks/.